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VOL. 39 | NO. 21 | Friday, May 22, 2015

Global stocks mostly higher in quiet trading day

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BEIJING (AP) — Global stocks mostly rose Monday on a quiet trading day with Wall Street, London and Hong Kong closed for holidays.

KEEPING SCORE: In in Europe, France's CAC-40 was among the few indexes to trade, shedding 0.7 percent to 5,106.54 points. London and Frankfurt are closed for holidays. Wall Street is closed for Memorial Day. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index surged 3.4 percent to close at 4,813.80 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 percent to 20,413.77. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1 percent to 5,721.50. Taiwan, Singapore and New Zealand also rose. Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila declined. Hong Kong and Seoul were closed for holidays.

U.S. ECONOMY: Amid the slow trading, investors were digesting economic news from the U.S. on Friday. A report showed inflation rose 0.1 percent in April, its third straight increase. The numbers suggest that an improving economy could be setting the stage for the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate. Also Friday, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said in a speech that she expected the Fed to begin raising rates later this year if the job market improves. But she cautioned that the economy is still facing challenges, including disappointing wage growth and too many people working part-time.

GREECE DEBT: There were lingering concerns over Greece, where the stock market was down 2 percent. The country's ruling coalition rejected a call by party hardliners to skip its next payment to the International Monetary Fund on June 5. Greece does not have the money to the debt repayment without more bailout loans, but is balking at making new reforms, as creditors demand. Greece says it expects a deal by the end of the month.

WALL STREET: On Friday, major indexes declined as oil drillers and other energy-related companies followed oil prices lower. The S&P 500 fell but closed up for the week. The index has closed at record highs recently, though the gains have been tiny as investors fret over unimpressive earnings and an uncertain global economy. The Standard & Poor's 500 closed down 4.76 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,126.06. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 53.72 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,232.02. The Nasdaq composite edged down 1.43 points to 5,089.36. Markets were due to be closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. oil lost 45 cents to $59.27 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed $1 on Friday to $59.72.

CURRENCIES: The dollar gained to 121.49 yen from Friday's 121.54 yen. The euro declined to $1.0985 from $1.1013.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0